I don’t know what the weather’s been like in your neck of the woods, but it’s been chilly around these parts. You won’t hear me complain about it, I absolutely love fall! The colder temperatures make me crave comfort food like no other. When Kristin over at Iowa Girl Eats posted this recipe, I literally counted down the days until it felt chilly enough to make it. PLUS, risotto works as a lunch, side dish, or can also stand alone as an entree – that’s what I’m talking about!
Mushroom, Bacon, and Leek Risotto
- 5 c. chicken stock
- 4 sliced chopped bacon (I used a regular-cut, hickory smoked bacon)
- 3 small leeks (white and green parts only), chopped
- 8 oz. mushrooms
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/4 c. dry white wine (check this out for some advice on picking the best cooking wine)
- 1 T. fresh thyme
- 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
That picture has literally nothing to do with the recipe, but I felt all fancy putting the ingredients in different containers.
First, heat up the chicken stock but keep it simmering on low in a saucepan. You won’t be using it until later, but make sure it’s ready when you need it. Prep your bacon too, but chopping it and cooking it in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy.
Set it aside to drain on a towel, but reserve 2 T. of the bacon grease. If you don’t have 2 T. you will need to add in another fat like olive oil to make 2 T. and heat over medium-high along with the mushrooms, leeks, and shallots. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and cook until the veggies turn a golden brown (about 8 minutes). Then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about another minute. Finally, add in the 1 c. of arborio rice and give it a nice good stir to incorporate it in.
Turn the heat down to medium and add in the 1/4 c. of wine. The rice will absorb the wine pretty quickly, and when it does you’re ready to add in that chicken broth. This is the only part that sucks: you’re going to have to stir this pretty much constantly for about 25 minutes. That’s perfect for me because I love to fuss over things on the stove and I can never just leave things alone!
After 25 minutes, the mixture will be looking nice and thick. At this point, you should give yourself a pat on the back because you’re freaking awesome. Then, add in the reserved bacon, thyme, and Parmesan cheese. Stir it all together until it’s incorporated. BOOM! You just made risotto.